NZDSN Newsletter September 2022

Inside this issue

  • A message from our CEO..
  • NZDSN Policy Analyst
  • NZDSN Auckland Regional Co-ordinator
  • NZDSN National Employment Services Co-ordinator
  • MSD Training Fund
  • Member profile
  • Upcoming events
  • Before You Go
  • Members’ Only Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

A message from our CEO

Peter Reynolds (CEO)

This month Peter gives you an update on Pay Equity, the IIDL meeting in Christchurch as well as giving you links and information on Public submissions on the “Accessibility for New Zealanders” Bill

Pay Equity

The named employers have finally reached agreement on a multi-employer pay equity process agreement (MEPEPA) and are engaged in signing this off now.  Arguability of the claim has been confirmed with the unions and the wider group of affected staff are being informed about the claim, as is required under the Act.  Interviews of a selection of care and support workers across the four affected sectors are now being scheduled.  The employer group is setting up a Steering Group and engaging with the funders on a resourcing contribution proposal.  Finally, we are aware as at the end of this week, that a number of employers have now received a second pay equity claim for Co-ordinators and Service Managers.


Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced that the Government is taking steps to provide immediate relief to businesses hit hardest by the global worker and skill shortage, 

The Government announced Working Holiday Scheme measures to:

  • Extend visas for onshore working holiday makers that are expiring between 26 August 2022 and 31 May 2023 by six months from date of expiry.
  • Double the Working Holiday Scheme caps with a one-off increase to recognise the spots that were unused last year due to the border closure. This will mean around 12,000 more working holiday makers can come to New Zealand over the next six months or so.

Sector agreements were also announced for key sectors of the economy that are struggling to find workers. These agreements provide limited exemptions to the median wage requirement for hiring migrant workers on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in specific occupations and sectors, in exchange for ongoing improvements.

NZDSN hosted a webinar for members with a guest presenter from Immigration NZ.  While this was highly informative, it become quickly clear that only larger organisations were likely to benefit from the changes and that Immigration NZ had ignored the vast majority of disability support providers struggling to find staff.

New CEO for Whaikaha Announced

Disability providers have great hopes for the new Ministry of Disabled People and are encouraged by the appointment of Paula Tesoriero, says New Zealand Disability Support Network CEO Peter Reynolds.

“Ms Tesoriero did sterling work for the disabled community as the Disability Rights Commissioner and was an inspiration as a Paralympian”, said Mr Reynolds.

“NZDSN has great hopes for the new standalone Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People, as does the rest of the disabled community. It is an opportunity for an agency to put disabled people first, rather than always being an afterthought. Having a dedicated agency with its own funding and a ‘nothing for us, without us’ approach opens up the potential for a brighter future for disabled people.

“Leadership will be crucial to achieving the Ministry’s potential and we believe that Ms Tesoriero has the capability to provide the vision and people-centred style needed.

“We look forward to working with Ms Tesoriero and her team to deliver better outcomes for disabled New Zealanders”, said Mr Reynolds.

We are also grateful for Ms Tesoriero agreeing to address members at the forthcoming AGM.


We look forward to welcoming everyone registered for the IIDL Australasia/Pacific Islands Regional Hub to Christchurch in October.

The IIDL meeting is fully allocated, and registrations are now closed. If you still wish to register for the IIMHL event, you can join the waitlist and the IIMHL will contact with you closer to the event.

Even if you are not able to attend the Christchurch hub, you can still participate in a virtual Match, but you will need to select your virtual Match at your earliest opportunity. You can view the IIDL matches here.

Accessibility for all New Zealanders Bill

Public submissions on the Billare being accepted now. The submission closing date is 11.59 pm on Monday, 07 November 2022. 

The Bill addresses the accessibility barriers faced by disabled people, tāngata whaikaha, and others, so they can live independently and participate fully in all areas of life. The Bill also aims to ensure that disability issues are front of mind in decisions by policymakers and the Government of the day.

A submission is an opportunity to present your views, observations, and recommendations on the Bill. Submissions can contribute diverse experiences and voices into the development of the Bill.

Members of the disability community, their families, whānau and the broader public, may wish to be involved by submitting. 

Tell the Social Services and Community Committee what you think.  

Submit by going to Accessability For New Zealanders Bill for  – New Zealand Parliament ( on the Bill is available in alternative formats

  • Resources in EasyRead and NZSL – New Zealand Parliament (

Information is also available in the Committee press release                                     

  • Increasing accessibility for disabled people—tāngata whaikaha – New Zealand Parliament (

You may also be interested in this guide to writing a submission

  • Your guide to writing a submission – New Zealand Parliament (

NZDSN will be preparing a submission on behalf of our members and in collaboration with Platform (peak body for Mental Health and Addictions providers).


…is scheduled for the 22nd September via Zoom.  Are you a financial full member of NZDSN?  Have you registered to attend the AGM?  Have you voted for the three vacant positions on the NZDSN Board?  Contact for more information.

As mentioned earlier, we are pleased to have Paula Tesoriero, CEO of Whaikaha, joining us at 10.30 for a brief introduction to her role, what her thinking is for the priorities facing our sector and how she wants Whaikaha to work closely with disability support providers.  Paula’s presentation will be followed by the NZDSN AGM.

NZDSN Policy Analyst

Dr Solmaz Nazari (Policy Analyst)

This month Solmaz discusses changes to the Disability survey, the Auckland City Council amendment to the transport provisions and the housing for disabled people.  

We witnessed some new developments in the policy space. Perhaps the most significant and was the appointment of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Disabled People. We look forward to working with Ms Tesoriero and her team in the critical role they will have to get the new Ministry going.

Changes to the Disability Survey

We received an update from Statistics New Zealand regarding the Disability Survey 2023. Traditionally the “Disability Survey” had two different components: 1) the Household Disability Survey (HDS) and 2) the Disability Survey of Residential Facilities (DSRF). The Statistics New Zealand has decided not to run the Disability Survey of Residential Facilities (DSRF) in 2023. They have provided a number of reasons for their decision; for instance, the small sample size of the DSRF, the coverage of some residential facilities by the HDS, and lack of resources and trained staff.

In response to this proposal, NZDSN submitted a letter to the Statistics Minister, Dr David Clark. We raised our concerns about the exclusion of some of the most vulnerable members of the disability community in the Disability Survey 2023. NZDSN believes the proposal does not provide strong justification for the removal of the DSRF from the 2023 Disability Survey. You can find NZDSN’s letter here. We received a response from Statistics NZ, and we have requested a meeting in this regard.

Auckland City Council Amendment to the transport provisions.

We will make a submission for the Amendments to the transport provisions in Auckland. This amendments are very broad with potentially significant impact on the transportation and also the provision of accessible car parks in Auckland. We encourage you to consider the impacts of this plan change on your own organisation, services, staff, and clients, and use the opportunity to provide your submission. Alternatively, please email your feedback to or policies@nzds, and we will incorporate your feedback into NZDSN’s submission.

Housing for disabled people

The data in the 2018 Census showed disabled New Zealanders continue to have significant issues with housing and accessible housing. Most New Zealand homes do not incorporate Universal Design principles or provide good accessibility for disabled people. This undermines many other rights of disabled people, such as the right to participation in the community, the right to have choice and control over their lives, and the right to employment. Moreover, there is an urgent need for more accessible residential and aged care facilities. NZDSN continues to work on a policy paper for housing for disabled people. Please get in touch if you have any feedback or comments.


NZDSN Auckland Regional Co-ordinator

Kristi Shaw (Auckland Regional Co-ordinator)

Auckland Regional Network Newsletter – September

We are preparing for our first Auckland Regional Network Summit on 5th October 2022.

Accessibility: Beyond Intention

Working Together for Change through Korero

Words Create Worlds –

The more we can appreciate what is going right, in deep deep ways, the greater the storytelling, and the greater the imagination about what is possible. We are looking for times when our sector, at all levels, is most alive, effective and engaged – searching for moments of the true, the good, the better, and the possible. In our society, where we largely focus on what’s wrong with the human side of an organisation or sector, we will use our words, our appreciative korero, to focus and create more of ‘What’s Right’.

Through our ‘Accessibility: Beyond Intention’ korero, we will begin to see the best in our experiences (appreciation) and what brings life and health and vitality to living human systems in and around the disability sector (increase in value). Human systems have a core of strengths that is hidden or under-utilised – we are going to identify, fan and grow them.

We are experiencing so much change in our sector, in a world of change. There is a lot going on and time seems to be moving faster than ever.

As a sector, we have a choice to ‘wait and see’ what change will bring to us, or we have a choice to be part of creating or influencing the change. At the Summit, we have a unique opportunity to work together for change, to deeply discover what is working WELL and what we want MORE of.

We are planning for all stakeholders to be present: Disabled People, Whanau, Providers, representatives from Whaikaha, and local ministerial funding bodies, Auckland Council and Auckland Disability Advisory panelists. We are going to be to the trandrawing out the capacities and visions and hopes from one another, and create an alignment of strengths that will act as a bridge for activating planned and improvised change.

We have 15 members on our Core Planning Team: 9 Providers, 3 disabled people (1 whanau), 1 Auckland Disability Advisory Panel member, and me. We have been meeting since August to work more deeply on our collective top themes of: Being a Provider under Enabling Good Lives, and to do more engagement and collaboration to strengthen relationships and partnerships at all levels. Together we have defined our topic for deep exploration that will pertain to everyone: Accessibility: Beyond Intention. Good intentions are not enough, they need good innovative and resourceful action.

We have limited spaces for the first ARN Summit so get in early to register – all voices will be there.

We will be part of the change, with what we are doing WELL, and what we want MORE of!


NDSN National Employment Services Co-ordinator

Gordon Boxall (National Employment Services Co-ordinator)

A reminder for anyone attending the Discovery Workshop in Auckland on Friday the 30th of September with Milton Tyree, a USA leader in the delivery of Discovery/Customised Employment training.  Please don’t forget to complete your paperwork.

Employment Support Regional Coordinators will be meeting to consider how our sector can be more pro-active in terms of marketing and showing we have capability that isn’t necessarily recognised.

We are getting a good take up of the upcoming employment themed webinars that form part of the International Initiative for Mental Health and Disability Leadership taking place at 9am on 4th, 11th and 18th October ahead of the Regional Exchange in Christchurch on 26th and 27th October. The first webinar considers what disabled jobseekers want from services and policymakers; the second, on enablers and barriers to scaling up and the third has a focus on employers. Participants will join from around the world. Let Gordon know if you are interested.

Gordon will also be liaising with Whaikaha in terms of how they see employment in terms of priority.

MSD Training Fund

This fund supports Employment, Participation and Inclusion Service providers to improve     develop their services through learning and training.

People are welcome to apply at any time throughout the year. Please go to our website for further information and to submit applications.

Member profile

MASH Trust is a non-government organisation and registered charity that has been operating since 1989, when it was founded to provide accommodation and sheltered housing. Today MASH provides a wide range of support services for approximately 1,700 people with mental health conditions, disabilities; alcohol and addiction struggles and youth respite care.

Our services are offered in a number of settings including day programmes, support in people’s own homes, support within MASH homes, and support in the community. MASH operates throughout the lower North Island in Wellington, Kapiti, Horowhenua, Palmerston North, and Hawkes Bay with over 550 staff and volunteers.

The services we provide include:

  • Mental Health Recovery Services (supported homes and community-based support)
  • Mental Health and Addiction Treatment
  • Disability Services (supported homes and community-based support)
  • Rehabilitation Services (community-based support)
  • Social Services (community-based support)
  • Child/Youth Crisis Respite Service
  • LUCK venue
  • Friendship Facilitation Service
  • Support in the Community Services

Upcoming events

Thursday 22nd September
10:30 am

Auckland Regional Network Meeting
Wednesday 5th October
9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Register Here

Before You Go

This month our Auckland Regional Network Coordinator again provided us with a smile.
“God, how long is a million years?”
“To me, it’s about a minute.”
“God, how much is a million dollars?”
“To me, it’s a penny.”
“God, may I have a penny?”
“Wait a minute.”

Members’ Only Facebook and LinkedIn Groups

Our open Facebook page is:
NZDSN Facebook
Our Members’ Only Facebook group is:
Facebook Members’ Only
Our LinkedIn New Zealand Disability Support Network profile is:
New Zealand Disability Support Network LinkedIn
Our Members’ Only LinkedIn profile is
LinkedIn Members’ Only

NZDSN Newsletter September 2022 word long version
NZDSN Newsletter September 2022 word short version
NZDSN Newsletter September 2022 pdf long version
NZDSN Newsletter September 2022 pdf short version